MONDAY, JUNE 24 Whoopee! Though you probably thought this day would never come, it's time to like Rosie O'Donnell again! According to New York's Page 6 gossip sheet, ever since Rosie's quit her daytime talk show, she's dropped her nicey-dyke image, and is napalming a path through Hollywood. For example, at the opening party for the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, Rosie was raging in front of a crowd of a thousand people about ex-prez Bill Clinton. "He disgusts me," she told the throng. "And I know I'm not supposed to say this because I'm a good Democrat, but he lied to me when he said, 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman,' and then put the scarlet-letter blowjob on her for the rest of her life I still hate you!" Then she went off on Michael Jackson. "[Michael] wanted to speak to me, but I didn't because I don't speak to pedophiles," Rosie said to the stunned crowd. "He's a freak, and I don't mean that in a nice way He's cream-colored and has no nasal passages whatsoever. He doesn't look human. Did he look into the mirror one day and say, 'Perfect'?" But the Roaster didn't stop there! She went on to flambé Sharon Stone (for her recital of John Lennon's "Imagine" at an AIDS fundraiser), Anne Heche for her on-again, off-again lesbianism, and Oprah Winfrey for refusing to appear on her show ("She was busy. She was home counting her money."). Meeee-OW! So was Rosie just in a bad mood that evening, or is this a hint of things to come? According to her, "I'm no longer a TV talk-show host this bitch ain't so nice anymore."

TUESDAY, JUNE 25 And while we wait breathlessly for the continuation of Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial, we're going to have to make do with the far less interesting Martha Stewart insider trading scandal, and R. Kelly's child pornography charges. Today on CBS' The Early Show, Martha constructed a delicious summer salad while answering questions about mysteriously selling off shares of biotech company ImClone Systems--a day before the FDA rejected the company's experimental cancer drug, sending the stock into the toilet. While chopping cabbage, the style maven's left eye slightly twitched as she expressed hope that the scandal would be resolved quickly and was looking forward to being "exonerated of any ridiculousness." A little late for that, isn't it? Meanwhile! Singer R. Kelly showed up in court today, to plead innocent to charges of 21 counts of child pornography. The R&B superstar has been of accused of having sex with a 14-year-old on a video circulating the internet, entitled R. Kelly Triple-X. And while his lawyers have been doing a credible job of defending Kelly so far, they may find it a little tougher now that FOUR MORE ALLEGED SEX TAPES have been discovered in one of Kelly's rental properties. It looks like R. Kelly can look forward to "tossing some salad," too--and not in the Martha Stewart sense.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26 Today, Judge Alfred Goodwin of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that would ban the Pledge of Allegiance from public schools in nine Western states (including Oregon), thereby creating the most ridiculous shitstorm of nationwide hypocrisy we've ever witnessed. Though both the court and constitution would be satisfied by the exclusion of the phrase "one nation under God," most of our nation's leaders are acting like Goodwin personally dumped a vial of acid into the eyes of every child in America. It was an atheist doctor who first filed the lawsuit, claiming his child shouldn't be forced to hear God's name in a state-supported institution--which, naturally, never should have been brought to court in the first place. We can't turn on the TV without hearing the phrase, "Hi, Portland. I'm Rick from Empire Glass "--but you don't see us crying to a judge about it. However, we didn't think this case merited serious thought until President Bush put his one-and-a-half cents in, saying "America is a nation that values our relationship with the Almighty." Brrrrr! Doesn't that give you the creeps? He then went on to note that the decision "ignored the fundamental beliefs of our society." It's unclear whether Bush knows that the "one nation under God" phrase was not invented by our forefathers, but added in 1954, after the Knights of Columbus and religious leaders convinced Congress the addition was imperative to stop the onslaught of "godless communism." He does know we've made mincemeat out of the communists, right? Could someone tell him? Please?

THURSDAY, JUNE 27 Today, local news stations spent most of the day in a panic, frantically searching for a "Northwest connection" to the Pledge of Allegiance scandal. Happily, one was discovered when it was learned that the presiding judge in the case, Alfred Goodwin, is actually from Oregon!! (We also learned today that Goodwin stayed his order from Wednesday, opening the decision up to further legal opinion from other judges--but that just means he's a big chicken and doesn't take away from the fact that he's from Oregon!) Goodwin grew up around Prineville--we're too lazy to look at the map, so let's just say it's "over there somewhere." Anyway that's all we wanted to say. There is a "Northwest connection" to this case, Alfred Goodwin is from Oregon, and we now return you to the real news, already in progress.

FRIDAY, JUNE 28 The Associated Press reported today that the powers of the Presidency will be briefly transferred to Vice President Dick Cheney when President Bush undergoes a colon check Saturday that will require him to be as stoned as Diana Ross. The White House said the procedure could take an hour or so. Bush said he decided to transfer powers to Cheney out of extra caution, because the nation is at war, and because Cheney told him to. While Cheney is reportedly ambivalent about briefly bearing the responsibility of the Presidency, he is reportedly quite looking forward to his one constitutionally allotted conjugal visit with Laura Bush.

SATURDAY, JUNE 29 Today, a physician inserted a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope into President Bush's rectum and slowly guided it into his colon. The scope transmitted an image of the inside of the President's colon, so the physician could carefully examine the colon's lining. The physician manipulated the bendable scope so that he could see all the nooks and crannies and curves of the colon. The President was asked to change position occasionally to help the physician move the scope. The scope also blew air into the President's colon, which inflated the colon and helped the physician see well. Later, the President went jogging.

SUNDAY, JUNE 30 Today, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Americans should be vigilant for possible attacks around the Fourth of July holiday, while still enjoying their Independence Day celebrations. Though there is no specific threat, the administration has credible evidence that there is probably a good chance that someone somewhere might blow something up. The administration urges citizens to keep their eyes out for bursts of light in the sky that might indicate explosive activity. Citizens are also asked to report loud, sudden noises, frightened pets, and the smell of sulfur in the air. Anyone with concerns is asked to call Colin Powell's house for evacuation routes and further information.

No more fireworks after July 5. We mean it.

ann@portlandmercury.com